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Councilman plans community project to spruce up alley

DULUTH -- Duluth Councilman Billy Jones needs some help sprucing up one of downtown Duluth's corners.

After recent demolition of some old buildings and construction of a new parking lot, an alley was opened up in the old city hall block area, but it doesn't exactly look pretty.

Jones, who organized the "Duluth Matters" group to get residents involved in the aesthetics of their town, has planned a May 18 workday to spruce up the area, so the alley looks good when tourists flood the town for the Fall Festival later this year.

"We will be boarding up some broken windows, unused doors and holes on some empty buildings," Jones said of the project. "We will be prepping the complete alley for paint and basically beautifying the space. There will be trash removal, plant trimming and planting. I hope to raise enough funds to cover the building materials, paint, and refreshments for the volunteers," he added. "My biggest need right now is for warm bodies to help. No special skills required, just gloves, work clothes, and a willingness to work."

This is the third project for "Duluth Matters," after the group worked last summer to do drywall repair and painting in the Red Clay Theatre and this winter cleaned up a city-owned lot that had become a dumping ground.

"The weather was terrible, but we still had over 30 people show up," Jones said, proud of city residents' efforts to pitch in. "We had lunch and drinks donated and made a tremendous impact on the area."

He hopes to have as much success with the alley project.

Anyone interested in donating their time or talents or any supplies for the project, please contact the councilman at bjones@duluthga.net.